11 MARCH 1865, Page 19

Lord Bacon not the Author of " The Christian Paradoxes."

By the Rev. Alexander Grosart. (Printed for private circulation.)Mr. Grosart has made a discovery in the dark places of literature which is of very -considerable interest, for it effectually clears Bacon from the charge of -"atheism." The Paradoxes appeared in an imperfect form in 1645 anonymously, and • they were included in the unauthorized Bacon's .72emaines three years later. Bacon's own executor and editors excluded them, nor were they again included in his works till 1730. The genuine- ness has therefore always been doubted, and with the more earnest- ness by Bacon's admirers because Bayle suggested that they were really sarcastic and designed to bring Christian doctrine into derision, and the famous Joseph de Maistre, the father of modern Ultramontanism, en- dorsed the accusation. Mr. Stabbing, Bacon's most recent editor, pronounced confidently that whether the Paradoxes were his or not, they were certainly written "in perfect sincerity, and also in profound security of conviction." His judgment is now strikingly confirmed. In the British Museum is the first part of Memorials of Godlinesse and Christianity, by Herbert Palmer, B.D., a well-known divine of that time, who was afterwards Master of Queen's College, Cambridge. The data of this is 1644, and the next year it is reprinted with a second part, The Character of a Christian in Paradoxes and Seeming Contradictions, in the preface to which Palnfer complains that "a strange hand was like to have robbed me of the greatest part of this by putting to the Presse (unknown to me) an imperfect copy of the Paradoxes." In fact the im- perfect copy was published the very day before Palmer's own, which reached a fifth edition in 1655, all the editions bearing the name of Herbert Palmer on the title-page. There can therefore no longer be any doubt that the Paradoxes are a perfectly sincere expression of the credo quia impossibile spirit, and are not Bacon's. Mr. Grosart has re- printed the fifth edition of the Paradoxes, with a capital memoir and photograph of Palmer, .and all necessary information as to the history of the dispute about the authorship. The volume, being for private circu- lation, is of course an extremely handsome one.